High street and luxury fashion brands are struggling in the UK as online demand falls 179% and 34% respectively year-on-year, new data has shown.
LovetheSales.com's latest monthly report on Wednesday showed that those consumers who are still shopping are focused on other goods such as garden items. Prices on these have surged as demand has risen strongly.
By contrast, online searches for high street and luxury fashion brands fell in mid-April, compared to this time last year. And as the figures show, high street brands are the biggest sufferers as online searches for cheaper branded clothing fell almost 180%. It's perhaps understandable that interest in luxury items has fallen less sharply with the assumption that consumers in this area are less concerned about their finances.
But the 34% fall in overall interest is still a sign that some affluent consumers may be anticipating a more challenging financial environment. They seem to have shifted their interest from the higher-end luxury labels labels like Burberry and Gucci towards premium brands such as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and others, where searches have actually risen 18%.
As far as specific categories are concerned, LovetheSales also said searches for suitcases have dropped by 74% year-on-year and searches for cabin luggage have declined by 64% — unsurprising given the lockdown and curtailment of travel.
It also said searches for handbags have dropped by 46% year-on-year and for purses by 63%.
And dress searches are down 33%, despite this usually being the peak period for dress sales. Meanwhile playsuit searches are down 54%, but demand for loungewear has risen 411%.
The figures showed that some other products are booming too. After the #pillowchallenge went viral on Instagram, shoppers have been keen to show off their entries, using designer belts. Searches for Gucci belts have increased by 71% month-on-month. Searches for Off-White and Moschino belts are up 65% and 59% respectively.
The Netflix show Tiger King also seems to have boosted interest in tiger print clothing, which is up 90%. Kenzo, with its tiger logo, has benefited since the show's release, with demand for its big logo jumpers increasing by 126% month-on-month.
Ugg slippers are proving hugely popular with shoppers, with page views for the footwear shooting up by 66% year-on-year, while premium lingerie has increased 42%. Lace teddies, suspenders, and thongs are the most popular products for UK shoppers and brands Agent Provocateur and Ann Summers have benefited the most from this trend with year-on-year demand up 49% and 42% respectively.